Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ket's Rebellion

1549 Today marks one of the days in history on which were forged some of the human rights enjoyed by a proportion of people in the world. Regrettably, though, today we remember a bloody defeat rather than a victory for those who bravely asserted their liberties.

On this day, the Norfolk Rising (or Commotion), otherwise known as Ket's Rebellion, came to an end when the overwhelming military power of the Earl of Warwick (John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland) crushed Robert Ket's rebels.
On July 20, at Mousehold, England, a herald of the king had been turned away, his message of conciliation – or, demand for compliance – from the monarch to some 20,000 rural insurrectionists rejected. The herald had promised the king's pardon to all who would depart quietly to their homes.

The rebellion of farmers and farm workers was aimed at bringing attention to the economic problems faced by agricultural workers in East Anglia. Like the Diggers (founded exactly one century later, in 1649 by Gerrard Winstanley) and even the rather more conservative Levellers, the rebels demanded the abolition of land enclosures, the end of private ownership of land, and the dismissal of counsellors.
A commonwealth was established on Mousehold Heath.

The 'commotion' was led by Robert Ket (or Kett), a fairly prosperous tanner and landowner (he held the manor of Wymondham in Norfolk), who with his followers occupied the city of Norwich, but were defeated on August 25 by Warwick's superior firepower.

The rebels had met daily under 'the Oak of Reformation', upon which many of them were later hanged.

Land and Freedom Pages
    Wikipedia on the Diggers
Wikipedia on the Levellers    Modern Diggers    Gerrard Winstanley and Diggers


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